02.Oct.2010 by Rob Newell
FLORENCE, Ala. – If FLW Outdoors continues to have American Fishing Series events on Pickwick Lake, they might have to consider changing the name of the event to the Randy Haynes Benefit Tournament.
For the second time in his fishing career, Randy Haynes of Counce, Tenn., has won an AFS event on Pickwick Lake. His first win came in June of 2008 and Haynes is also credited with piloting a fishing team to victory in a PAA Corporate Cup in 2008 as well.
Today Haynes put an exclamation point on his Pickwick dominance with a closing limit of 20 pounds, 9 ounces to give him a three-day total of 63-10, over a 10-pound margin of victory. He collected $18,933 for his win.
“Anytime I win on Pickwick it’s special to me,” said the 37-year old hardwood flooring contractor. “It’s my home lake and I feel like I’ve defended my turf.”
Haynes key baits during the week included a Strike King 6XD crankbait (sexy shad), a Strike King Sexy Spoon, a ¾-ounce football head jig teamed with a Rage Craw trailer and Carolina-rigged Zoom Brush Hog.
Haynes noted that the biggest difference between his win in ’08 and now is the sheer numbers of bass in Pickwick these days.
“Back then there were not as many fish in the lake, so I had to use a grub a lot,” Haynes said. “But now, there are so many fish out there, and they’re so competitive, that I can use a crankbait and sometimes a spoon to catch them.”
Haynes also said that this time of year the bait and bass tend to stack up higher in the water column than in the early summer.
“In June, a lot of time those fish will hunker down on the bottom on those ledges and dragging lures are more of a key,” he said. “But now, they’re up chasing shad around. When I ride over a place I can tell what mode the fish are in just by looking at my depthfinder. I can’t really explain it, but based on how those fish look on my graph determines what I throw to catch them.”
Haynes spent a majority of his fishing time from Bear Creek to the Tennessee State line (Tennessee water was off-limits) where the ledges are deeper and grass has less of an influence. His best ledges were 14 to 22 feet deep.
“I know a lot of people probably think I go to the same holes over and over again for these wins,” Haynes said. “But I can tell you that’s not the case. A lot of ledge fishing is just like any other type of fishing, you have to keep an open mind and constantly search out new places and try different lures – these lakes are always changing and the fish are always moving.”
“I’ve been fishing this lake for 12 years and each time I’ve won a big tournament out here I’ve found the winning spot during the practice round – they were totally new spots to me,” he continued. “The spot that produced the best for me in this tournament, I found Wednesday afternoon and it was a place I had never fished before. Even with ledge fishing you can’t get too set in your ways and stop experimenting. These fish move so much, each week new spots develop out there as fish move from one ledge and stack up on another. But that’s the part of this game I love so much – there’s always a new gem to find out there.”
Read more on FLWOutdoors.com